The Importance of the Goodbye

peace in a palmetto tree
Much has been written and sung of goodbyes. I recently said goodbye to a city and life that I once loved in Chicago. More than 20 years of accumulated life was consolidated into a moving truck and sent down the road. I followed.
In the beginning, when this all came about, I avoided the goodbyes. If I didn’t say goodbye, maybe I could avoid strong feelings of loss. I fantasized that...


I Hate My, More to the Hate Story

#FirstSevenJobs trended. If you’ve been around a few years, you might realize how many jobs you’ve forgotten when you start thinking about it. A lot of us have worked in restaurants!
Some people chose one word, maybe for a joke...


Wish I Could Sleep

Once you stop sleeping, everything changes.
Then begins a cascade of side effects — irritability, low energy, changes in eating habits, maybe weight gain, difficulty with concentration, alertness, memory. You can begin to look old before your time, and you may get sick more often. 
Sleep is extremely important to optimal physical and mental function.
We women lose a lot of sleep and for many reasons. 


Pour It Up: Healthy Helping and Decision Making

Healthy helping and healthy decision-making — what’s that look like?
I use the term Detrimental Caretaker to describe a person who gives until she (or he) feels empty and angry.
The opposite of detrimental caretaking is healthy helping. When we think of healthy helping holding hands with the string of decisions we make each day, let's think about what it means to be a Healthy Decision Maker.
Most women manage the trappings...


Courageous Conversations

I don't know many people who relish uncomfortable conversations. Personally, I do not. These are the conversations that can look and feel awfully messy when we think about them. They can make the heart flutter in dreadful anticipation. Fear sometimes factors in. As a social worker, I have been part of many such conversations between people.

Difficult conversations are inevitable. Like it or not, they are necessary for delivering bad news, working toward solutions, resolving disagreement or disappointment, and correcting or...


6 Powerful Tips To Remember When You Are Doing An Intervention On A Loved One Or How Not To Lose Your Sh*t When Doing An Intervention

Prince died-probably of an overdose. Addiction is everywhere. So sad.

A group of women came up to me at a baseball game a few weeks ago and asked how my trip to Texas went. “I heard you were out of town. Awesome! Was it fun?"

I am a terrible liar, so I told the truth. “Actually, I flew down to Texas to do an alcohol intervention on someone I know. At least the...


Relationship Problems? Try Going Neutral

Relationship problems take shape in many ways.

Joannie came to my office extremely angry with her mother-in-law. No matter what Joannie did, her mother-in-law was critical, inconsiderate, or never satisfied. She would show up late to events, even make snide remarks aimed at Joannie's efforts.

Why the mother-in-law seemed to go out of her way to be hurtful was beyond Joannie's understanding. She kept trying to please, but nothing seemed to work; the MIL would not budge.

Joannie tried talking about her feelings to her mother-in-law. That backfired. The MIL made herself out to be the victim. Afterward, she held a grudge and twisted Joannie's words. The MIL did not change.

What Changed? 


When You Think You Should Know, But Can’t Decide

Maybe you know how this goes: You have a plan.
In this case: Position myself in 2015 to register in September for Ironman Wisconsin 2016.
Then, things don’t go according to plan.
Questions swirl, not just any questions but questions dressed in a dark cloud.
1) Am I sure?
2) Should I push myself or be compassionate with myself and ease up?
3) How do I know I am making the best choice?
I know this swirl well. Do you know it?


Are You Bored With Your Life?

Bored? Explore. You never know what you might find.

If you tell my 80-year-old dad you're bored, he'll tell you, "Boredom is a privilege." He said he heard this from a taxi driver in NYC about a decade ago, and he never forgot it. That cab ride held an "ah-ha" moment for him, I guess, and it's recently that I'm catching on.

Boredom can be a good thing or a bad thing. It depends on how you handle it.

Bad boredom

Some women cause a stir when bored....


Strategies In Facing Conflict: Conflict Avoiders Take Note!

Women have a tendency to be conflict avoiders. Of course there are big (and memorable) exceptions.

You don't want to be either one of these people because, in the long run, neither extremes will be productive for you or the other party.

Womens' passivity in conflict is complicated. We are socialized to be cooperative and to be pleasers. In addition, if we do veer off this role, there can be big societal consequences. B-I-T-C-H. Luckily, I think the current generations are moving away from this more and more. But, the fear of conflict remains.

Fear of conflict is a theme I hear repeatedly with friends, colleagues, and with my clients in therapy.